How to Overcome Social Media Troubles: Contentment and Comparisons
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Last week on the blog we discussed 5 red flags to avoid in social media. The article also included a free Social Media Detox Challenge.
For this article of this post series, we will discuss contentment and comparisons and biblical encouragement for a more joyful and fulfilled life which will help you engage in a more positive social media experience. In the future articles, we will discuss relationships, interferences, and image.
#FirstWorldProblems. Craig Groeschel says in #struggles "Never before have so many people had so much and felt so dissatisfied" (2015). Paul discusses the topic of contentment in Philippians 4:12-13, and he was in a Roman prison at the time he wrote it!
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:12-13
Think about these verses; Paul says he can be content in poverty and in abundance, in prison or not in prison because he has learned the "secret of being content in any and every situation." The secret is that Christ is sufficient! Now, read Hebrews 13:5,
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5
So how can we learn to be content with what we have? How can we delight with what we have rather than desire and resent what others have?
We can become satisfied, even in the world of social media, when we realize God's sufficiency to meet our needs.
"You will battle with discontent until you let Christ be all that you need" (Groeschel 2015).
Moreover, we must realize the difference between a need and a want,
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Paul says we can choose to be content with all we have without having all we want.
Through Christ's strength, we can like Paul, develop a spirit of contentment wherever we are in life.
Some practical ways to restore or to gain contentment could be to take a social media detox, stop looking at catalogs or watching certain tv shows that entice you to want more, etc. Stop doing whatever is making you covet whatever your neighbor has. Then, develop a heart of gratitude. Start a journal of thankful thoughts. Look for God's goodness daily and in every situation. Read and contemplate:
What does the Bible say about comparisons?
"For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." ~ 2 Corinthians 10:12
"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." ~ James 3:14-16
Comparisons are called unwise, earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. WOW. No way do I want any part of this in my life!
Take this to heart, because I have seen and experienced how the curse of comparison can eat away at life in Christ,
we cannot faithfully follow our LORD and Savior if we are always comparing ourselves to others.
So how can we destroy the curse of comparison? Life.Church recently had a message specifically on this topic, and I want to share what I learned with you. We have to answer the core internal issue, "who or what is going to define my worth?" (Life.Church 2017). If you respond to this question with something other than Jesus, you will not ever be fully satisfied, and you will never win.
You have to find your value in Christ, not your job, your family, your number of Instagram followers, etc. Christ chose you; He died for you - Romans 5.8. You are a complete in Christ - Colossians 2:10. You are a unique creation of God, and He has a specific calling for you - Ephesians 2:10. As Lisa Bevere says, you are without rival, loved uniquely, not just equally.
God calls us to run the race marked specifically out for us and to stay focused on Him.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne." ~ Hebrews 12:1-2
"We do not have the ability to run someone else's race" (Life.Church 2017).
So, let's strip off the weight and sin of comparison so we can run the race God has for us!
And we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus because if we don't, we will stumble.
"No one can beat you at being you and running your race" (2017).
. . . So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. . . " ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
Discover your purpose, ask God to give you divine direction, read Dear Ladies, You are Astoundingly Beautiful Part 2.
Also, when on social media, when you feel tempted to compare, instead cheer others on, pray for others, learn from others, and celebrate the successes and blessings of others. And just like with contentment, develop a heart of gratitude.
I hope this post provided you with some practical tips for a more positive social media experience and beyond the realm of social media, I hope this encouraged you to live more joyously. Be sure to look for the next post in this series, In the future articles, we will discuss relationships, interferences, and image.
Yours Truly, LeNae
P.S. If you are struggling with social media and know you need to detox but are not sure how, subscribe to the Yours Truly, LeNae newsletter and download the free Social Media Detox Challenge. Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear from you.
Check local library listing for #struggles through WorldCat
Check local library listing through WorldCat
Bevere, Lisa. 2016. Without Rival: Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Publishing Group.
Groeschel, Craig. 2015. #struggles. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
Life.Church 2017. Overcoming the Curse of Comparing. https://www.life.church/watch/overcomer/overcoming-the-curse-of-comparing/. Accessed June 5.